Thursday, January 16, 2014

The wait

Six weeks. Six weeks til I leave on mission. So far the wait hasn't been too bad, I have been keeping myself relatively busy with little jobs, errands and parties with my friends. I have also been reading some books that will help me on my mission. Besides the standard works, I have been reading The New Testament Made Easier. The letter that I got from my mission presidents said that they frequently reference The New Testament along with The Book of Mormon. Two words: giddy up. I also started reading this incredibly brilliant book called How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie is a genius, especially when it comes to people. In the book he talks about how he went to a dinner party and talked to a bunch of different people. One particular guy kept talking to him for a longer period of time. When he left, this particular guy said that he really liked Dale because he was so interesting to talk to, but Dale never once spoke about himself. Isn't that interesting? It is proven that you make more friends in a shorter amount of time being interested in others then trying to make people interested in you. The truth about people: they love to talk about themselves. If you know this simple truth, you can make friends with anyone.

Besides reading books, I have also been focusing on other forms of self-improvement. Mainly life coaching. I have decided to do a weekly session with one of my life coaching buddies up until I leave on my mission. I just want to clear anything that is hindering me from having an amazing and a fulfilling life. Last week was my first session in six months and I cleared so much stuff. I forgot how important this is. I felt so whole and complete afterwards and so light. I had another session today and I learned even more about myself. This is my opinion on self-discovery: I feel that in order to become the person that we are meant to become, we must delve into our past and make amends with it. The people, the situations, the false beliefs and perceptions we have about ourselves and relationships. All of it. Because many of us are still living in the past and we bring the past feelings, beliefs and situations into our present experiences. In order to experience a better present, we must release the hurt, surrender it to God and fill up the empty space with truth. You can only attract what you believe you are. But it's a choice. You have to choose the happy life, the good life and the positive life. One does not fall upon it by sheer luck, you must create it. But you can only create it when you have cleared the hurt, the resentment and the guilt. Whatever it may be or however it stemmed to be. It's not easy but it's worth it.

Love yourself and everything else will fall into place. I have to remind self of that whenever I am feeling down.

Monday, December 16, 2013


I have a theory about relationships. I believe that there are many people in this world who think that all of their problems and insecurities will be resolved once they're in a romantic relationship. Because from the outside, people who are in relationships look like they are so happy. The media portrays love to be so magical, perfect and sexy. But the reality is this: relationships are hard. They require so much more than the physical attraction and maybe the soulful connection. It is the honesty of the communication between the couple that governs the status of their relationship. Relationships are mirrors, they show you your problems and insecurities. They show what is holding you back from being completely happy and at peace with yourself and with your life. Marianne Williamson said: "When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself." Women, especially, think that they will feel beautiful, loved and cherished once they find a man. This is never the case. If you don't feel this on your own, chances are you won't feel it authentically. You can only attract someone who is in resonance to the degree of your self-perception. To say this in simpler terms: you attract what you believe you are, not what you want. If you think that you are wonderful, smart, amazing and bona fide, you will attract someone like that in your life. As it says in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, "we accept the love we think we deserve." So fix your thinking before you try to fix someone else. Better yet, fix your self-perception before you decide to date someone. The truth is, you are good enough. You are. But if you don't think that, very few people will. We teach people how to treat us based upon our self-perception. If someone is treating you with disrespect, it may reflect the resonance of the relationship you have with yourself and with God. Marianne Williamson also said, " Our self-perception determines our behavior. If we think we're small, limited, inadequate creatures, then we tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate reflects those thoughts no matter what we do. If we think we're magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way. Once again, the energy around us reflects our state of awareness."

My personal mantra: Men like women who like themselves. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Season's greetings, everyone!

I honestly can't believe that the semester will be over in two weeks. I don't even really know what to say about it other than that I love everything that I have experienced up here in Rexburg. I have learned so much. I'm kind of sad that I won't be here for next semester. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to go on a mission, but I really love the people up here and the campus. I brought it up with my roommate, Alexa, and we both concurred that we're going to miss each other a lot. Alexa said the nicest thing to me yesterday: "Emilee, you are the funniest and most interesting person I have ever known." I asked her what she meant by interesting and she said that I have a different perspective on life and that I help her to see things differently. That made me feel good. I love her so much. She is definitely one of my favorite people up here. I remember when I first got here, I was trying to decide what bed I wanted. I chose the room that Alexa was in because the energy that it emanated resonated with me. Her side of the room was covered with words and pictures that radiated hope, wholeness and love. And everything was pink. I love pink. I'm so grateful that I chose the room that I did because Alexa is like the sister that I never had. She is seriously so great and I'm going to miss her so much. We tell each other everything.

I went through the temple for the first time last Saturday, and in all honesty, I don't think that I have ever been more overwhelmed. It just wasn't what I expected. My mind was just boggled for the next couple of days and getting used to wearing garments was interesting. Not bad, just different. I went again on Thursday and everything was much better. I don't think that I would be able to explain what certain things meant to someone else but the feelings that I had felt good. And everything that is good is from God. The garments are actually really comfy and they are a wonderful reminder of the covenants that I have made. They are such a blessing. I get nervous every time I take them off because I'm scared that I will get struck by lightning. I'm totally kidding, but not really. I really do feel protected when I wear them, which is almost always.

Preparing for my mission is really helping me to progress in my testimony of the gospel and in the development of my character. I find myself relying on God more than I have ever done before. What really helps me is at the end of each prayer I say: "Heavenly Father, I am yours. I am thy servant. I will go where you want me to go and I will do whatever thou wouldst have me do." However, I still have my moments where I have spurts of anxiety. The most nerve-racking to me is the thought of having to readjust to a new environment and having to start off on a lower point. The same thing happened when I started school at BYU in the summer and coming up here to Rexburg in September. The first two weeks were awful. I am nervous to go on a mission but I also know that everything is going to be amazing and that I will be changed for the better. I really want to help people and I really want to inspire others to come unto Christ. I want people to feel the love and forgiveness that I have received from the Savior and for them to experience it as well. I'm also nervous about the food in the Midwest. I heard that the people down there make a lot of fried foods. I don't eat fried food. That's why I wanted to go to Japan because I wanted to eat a plethora amount of sushi and rice. But then again I would have had to learn Japanese and that's not a cake walk. I'm grateful that I'm speaking English.

I had this epiphany the other day and I realized how much I was living in fear because I wasn't living in the moment. It was at the point where it was governing my interactions with others. I finally came to the conclusion that I was done with living in fear and that I was going to keep myself living in the moment. The truth is that there is only love in the moment. Guilt resides in the past and fear is abundant in the unknown future. You can't help but be happy and at peace with your life when you live in the moment. The personal mantras that help me to live in the moment are: "there is no where that I would rather be than right here, right now" and "I am living in the moment." I still have my moments where I catch myself over thinking things but those positive affirmations do help me realign myself. I also realized that the less I think about things, the better I feel.

Anywho. That's what's new with me. Lately I have been listening to the Mindy Gledhill (Holiday) station on Pandora and I highly recommend it. It makes me feel all giddy for the Christmas season. This is one of my favorite songs from the station:

Have an awesome day/week/month everyone! I hope you are doing well. If you're not, then you are on the verge of greatness. Just surrender everything to God and everything will fall into place. Also, love yourself, miraculous changes happen with self-love.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry I have not blogged in a long time but every time I thought about blogging, I never felt the need to do it. Anywho. A lot has happened since the last time I blogged. I'm pretty sure my last post was the first day of school at BYU-I... Haha whoops. It would take many pages to even scratch the surface of my experiences up in Rexburg. In a nutshell, I love BYU-Idaho. I know I'm supposed to be up here and I have met some incredible people. My roommates are awesome, I seriously could not have picked better ones. They are so funny and easy to be with. I absolutely love my classes, they are definitely my style of learning and I am learning so much. My favorite is my Social Problems class. No, it's not for people who are socially awkward. It's about prevalent issues and conflicts in our society such as prostitution, pornography, rape and poverty. I love it. My professor is awesome and the class is graded solely on tests. The only homework we have to do is reading. In all honesty, it reminds me of Mrs. Van Orden's class where there is a promotion of free-thinking and not busy-work. Plus the guy who sits next to me is pretty dang cute. Whoop there it is.

To get down to the point, I am going on a mission. This all happened about a month and a half ago where I kept having the word "mission" cross my mind. On October 6th I talked to my Bishop about going on a mission and an hour later I was starting my papers. Two weeks later I came down to do all of my medical stuff, thankfully I only had to get one shot. Then one week later I met with my Bishop and then my Stake President. In my mind everything was going perfectly, I had put my availability date on April 30th since I was planning on going to winter semester. I didn't realize that I wouldn't have been able to officially turn my papers in til the end of January and then get my call in February. I was disappointed and it felt wrong. I wanted to know where I was going so bad. During sacrament meeting, I was writing in my journal about my internal conflicts. I felt so discouraged, why didn't this feel good? I prayed and I asked myself what was so wrong with going in February or March. Inevitably, I felt that I should change my availability date to my birthday. What better way to surrender to God then putting my availability date on my 19th birthday? My mom and I drove back to the stake center and had the secretary change my availability date to February 7th. It was a leap of faith. Two and a half weeks later, I got my call. Except I had to wait two whole days to open it. I could not concentrate on anything and I kept having spurts of hysteria. Finally, thirty of my close friends and family witnessed my reaction.

Dear Sister Ratto:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

Oklahoma was definitely not my first guess, but it felt right. I knew that I was going state-side. However, I still cannot fathom it and I am a little overwhelmed with everything. Despite everything that is going through the left side of my brain, I am excited. The mission boundaries cover Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas. The cute guy I mentioned earlier served his mission in that exact same mission. Which is so crazy. He told me that the culture down there is awesome. The people are down to earth and very blunt. I love people who are real so I think I am going to fit in well or stand out in a positive way. I can't way to connect with them on a deep level and serve them. The mission presidents seem really nice and they are from Pleasant Grove, Utah! How cool.

God never ceases to amaze me. It's crazy to me how fast things happen when it's right and when it's meant to be or how quickly it falls apart when it is not right. But I feel that is contingent on personal faith, obedience to the commandments and an absolute surrender to God's will. I have always wanted to facilitate others to changing their lives by changing their perspective on life. What a wonderful opportunity that has been placed before me. Life is so beautiful.

Well that's what is new with me. I hope you are doing well. If you ever want/need to talk to someone about personal issues please call me or text me. I love talking to people about their lives. I love you all and I am grateful for your existence in my life. I do, authentically, think highly of you.

Monday, September 16, 2013

First day of school at BYU Idaho

First day of BYU Idaho was a success, I am finally falling in love with my current reality. Earlier, I was struggling with this new adjustment. I missed my Mom and I missed being around my friends that I can have real conversations with. Now, I am enjoying myself. My apartment is amazing, at least 10x better than Wyview and my roommates are hysterically funny. There's one that I absolutely cannot get enough of. At first she was a little distant from me but as soon as I broke into her we became good friends. She has the driest, smartest humor that makes me double over in tears. Like Loreli, she can bring out the goofiest side of me. Watch out, Rexburg.

Anywho. I love my classes so far but most of all I love my schedule. Unlike my ill-planned summer schedule, I can actually sleep in. On Mondays and Wednesdays my first class (Book of Mormon) starts at 12:45 then I have science foundations (whatever that means) at 4:30. Why is my life so good? Tuesdays and Thursdays are not so laid back but they definitely beat any other schedule that I have ever had. My first class, social problems, starts at 9:45. Then I go to my college reading class at 11:30 and after that I have American foundations (American heritage) at 3:15. Two words: giddy up. So far I really like my professors and my classmates. I didn't get lost which was a relief.

I went with my roommates to this ward social tonight and it was super fun. Michelle, my funny roommate, brought out that goofy side of me so it was super fun. She seriously cracks me up like an egg and I lose fear of how I am coming across to others. It is liberating. After the ward social, five out of six of us drove through this rural part of Rexburg and Hibbard and I feel like I really want to live there. Maybe not in Idaho but somewhere just as rural and vacant. As much as I love people, I would love to have a house that was more secluded in the country. It's so peaceful and thought-provoking.

Well I hope everyone is doing okay. If you ever need someone to talk about philosophy, humanity or family problems feel free to call me. Those are some of my favorite things to talk about. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


My mind bleeds with contrasting and contradicting thoughts that emanate battling emotions. I'm scared and yet I'm at peace; I'm happy and yet I'm sad. There are only a few things that I am absolutely certain of and the rest are fear-based, futuristic questions. I think I'm scared because I don't have a set plan for my life right now but then I have a peaceful thought that says "you don't need one." Back in high school, I always knew what I was going to be doing the next year; now, there are so many things that I can be doing in a year from now. What I am certain of is this: I am leaving for BYU-I in two and a half weeks. I'm not exactly sure what's in store for me there, all I know is that I'm supposed to be there. I'm not exactly sure what I want to do as far as a career is concerned but I know what kind of person I want to be. I want to be happy and be at peace with myself and my life, I want to look in the mirror and love what I see, I want to learn more about people and cultures. I want to believe in all that I am and I want to help people by living authentically. I want to be the person that I was meant to be. These thoughts and desires bring peace to my mind and quiets all of my irrational fears. "Everything you are is seeking you, therefore everything you want is already yours. You don't have to get anything. It is simply a matter of becoming more aware of what you already possess." -Bob Proctor

I started to read The Book Thief again. The last time I read it was during my freshman year of high school, also known as the peak of my superficiality. At the time I understood the book as best as I could, but I was not able to fully appreciate its significance. Reading it again with more experienced eyes has been most interesting, my soul resonates with it now more than ever. Markus Zusak is an artist of words. Whatever our souls are made of, ours are the same. Despite how tired I get, my eyes and my mind are constantly hungering for more. It boggles my mind how I can fall in love with people and personalities that are only made real through words. Such as Liesel's infatuation with words and books, Hans Hubermann's "thereness", Rosa's abusive expression of love. All of it. My heart heaved during the paragraph that explains Hans Hubermann's "thereness." It made me reminisce the nightmares that I had as a kid and feeling like I was such a burden whenever I was being human. I may still be harboring some bitterness towards my past but I see it as the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I'm grateful for it and I honor it. I honor the little girl that I was. I was so human to react the way that I did and to be aware of that exponentially increases my acceptance of self.

I am who I am.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"Happy Valley"

Next week is finals week and since I can't drive to Gold's anymore I decided to go running around Wyview.... at 11:30 at night. I put my shoes on and I was out the door in a matter of minutes. As I was running past the intersection, these two motor cyclers drove past me. I didn't think much of it and I kept up my usual pace. As I got closer to Burger Supreme I noticed that they had made a U turn and were driving past me again, then turned into the parking lot. My first thought was "Uh oh." I started to run a little faster but I didn't want to look conspicuous. Of course, whenever I try not to look conspicuous I look even more conspicuous. I had a feeling that I should go into Burger Supreme's foyer. I stood in there for a bit stretching my arms and checking my pulse. Two hispanic workers came and asked me if I was okay. I just told them that I was stretching. I'm sure they knew that something was going on because I can't hide any emotion. The two motor cyclers made another turn around and they were both parked in front of Burger Supreme's glass foyer. I probably looked like a deer caught in the headlights; my heart was pounding and I felt uncomfortably vulnerable. One of the guys tried to open the door and thankfully the door was locked on that side. They immediately left but I still didn't move. When I was sure that they were gone, I ventured out, trusting my intuition. Not even 5 feet away from Burger Supreme, another car pulls up beside me. What is this, national rapist day? The driver's appearance didn't make me feel any more comfortable; he was definitely a testosterone-filled, hispanic with some burley tattoos. The guy asked me if the motor cyclers were following me, I told him I didn't know. I think he realized that he was scaring me so he let me go on my way. I noticed that another car pulled up beside him and it was a woman. I felt a little relieved since psychologically I esteem women to have good intentions. However, I didn't stick around long enough to find out if he was trying to help me; I sprinted all the way back to my apartment. I'm not sure what the motor cycler's intentions were. Maybe they were out for a midnight snack or maybe they were lost. Perhaps that guy who tried to open the door was my Grandma. Who knows. But what I do know is that I will never go running by myself at night ever again.